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Higher Levels of Parental Education Associated with Higher Student Performance

  • In 2005, students at grades 8 and 12 who indicated neither parent graduated from high school scored lower, on average, than students whose parents had higher levels of education. Students whose parents graduated from college scored higher, on average, than students whose parents did not.
Twelfth-grade NAEP science achievement-level performance, by student-reported highest level of education of either parent

Achievement-level results in science, by student-reported highest level of education of either parent, grade 12: 2005

Achievement Level Trend Key

NOTE: View complete data with standard errors for grade 12.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2005 Science Assessment.

Parents' highest level of education is defined by the highest level reported by eighth-graders and twelfth-graders for either parent. Fourth-graders' replies to this question were not reported because their responses in previous studies were highly variable, and a large percentage of them chose the "I don't know" option. Learn more about the NAEP reporting groups on the NAEP website.

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